The building began as a home for hiring sailors back in the 13th century and has always offered hospitality for the inhabitants of Cologne and its visitors. The house enjoys protected monument status, has been restored many times over the centuries and emerged largely unscathed from the ravages of the world wars.
Stairs and doors dating since time immemorial still remind the visitor today of the legend of the "Heinzelmännchen" of Cologne, dwarfs who departed from the banks of the Rhine to leave our city forever. The traditional art of cooking, inherited recipes and time-honoured methods of preparation means Cologne cuisine at its best.
Why the beer, schnapps and the home-made sausages have traditionally been served here by the metre is a question that the old lantern man would answer as follows: the reason is that different measurements used to be used! They were understandable and visible for everybody! There was the "Elle" (cubit), the width of a hand or thumb and the beer, too, was measured in metres. However, the metre beer is a great favourite not only with the true Cologne inhabitants, but with the guests that come from all over the world, too!
What's more, in those days not everybody could read and there were no newspapers so hired scribes would write news and adverts on metre boards. This enabled day labourers, dock workers and sailors waiting for work on the pier to sell their labour to the well-to-do guests in the Haxenhaus for a few pennies.
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